Landlord utilities fraud
By Brenda Haag
I have rented from my current landlord for 21 months. On a number of occasions, I noted my electric bill was higher than I expected and asked if I was paying for any electricity in the property (upper/lower duplex). This month, however, my bill was clearly much higher than it should have been. My boyfriend went over when the landlord was out of town this weekend and did some investigating. My landlord at some point had plugged his washing machine into my outlet. There is a separate outlet in the basement that is on my meter. The landlord has had a dehumidifier plugged into it and running all summer (as well as last year). On a regular basis, the landlord builds things in the basement that require power saws and tools. Those are always plugged into that same outlet. All the lights in the basement are on my meter.
You may think I’m a dummy for not digging into this further. I did ask the landlord and was lied to. It wasn’t until I found his washing machine plugged into my outlet that I knew he had been cheating me. I should never have believed him.
I will not be paying him rent this month. I may not pay him rent next month. I need to try to figure out a good estimate of how much electricity he used that I paid for. I realize it is probably impossible to completely separate the electricity in 1 house into 2 apartments. However, I expected my landlord to be up front about it. Adding to my disappointment and mistrust is the fact that I repeatedly asked and was lied to.
My landlord is quite a wealthy man. His girlfriend, however, is unemployed. He put his utilities in her name so he can get heating assistance. The landlord and his girlfriend go to the food pantry separately so they can get twice the food, yet he just bought a new Ford Escape, new fishing boat with trailer, painted his Harley, bought a big flat screen TV.
Who if anyone should I report this to? Aside from going to court, is there anyone who can help me get my money back if the landlord should fight me about this?
Edited on: Monday, August 30th, 2010 6:40 am
2 Responses to “Landlord utilities fraud”
May 4th, 2011 3:22 pm
have you figured out what to do? I am dealing with the same sort of situation. Please help
May 12th, 2011 12:00 pm
Your LL soon to be living the american dream :).File the complaint through RPA http://www.rentalprotectionagency.com/complaint_center.php. Just get a case number then you follow up on that status or talk to an RPA agent online.
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